US 1707302 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 2, 1929. H. M. GODSEY PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING WATER Filed Dec. 10, 1926 INVENTOR fif/V/rc/s E4L 6005 ATTORNEY.
Patented Apr. 2, 1929.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
H. MITCHELL GODSEY, 0F SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA.
PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR SOFTENING'WATER.
Application filed December 10, 1926. Serial No. 153,915.
Another object of the invention is to pro-.
vide an apparatus that will be almost automatic in operation and whose operation will be entirely continuous. Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, proceeds.
These processes and apparatus are based on the power of minerals, commonly known as zeolites, base-exchange substances or baseexchange silicates, to absorb from hard water,
magnesium and calcium salts until the zeolite or similar substance becomes saturated, then it'may be regenerated or reconditioned by passing into intimate contact with it solutions such as a concentrated water solution of sodium chloride. These processes are ordinarily carried out in an intermittent manner by first passing raw water through the zeolite until the zeolite ceases to soften the water, then the zeolite is reconditioned or regeneratcd by passing a solution of common salt andwater through it and afterwards washing away the surplus salt that the zeolite has not absorbed, the chemical reaction being first, the absorption by the zeolite of the magnesium and calcium salts inthe hard water, and then, the exchange of these for sodium, these reactions being commonly known as base exchange water softening. v
For purposes of simplicity, the zeolite or base exchange substance will'hereinafter be referred to as the mineral, and the-solution used for regenerating or reconditioning will be referred to as the reconditioning solution or reconditioning fluid.
In the drawing, Figure 1 is a diagrammatic elevation, partly in section, showing a convenient means by which the processes described herein may be conveniently carried out, while Figure 2 represents a plan' of the compact and convenient form in which such an appa ratus may be assembled. The reference numerals apply to the two figures in the respective positons of the devices used.
On referring to Figure 1, numerals 1, 2 and 8 are a series of inclined chutes, or tanks, and numerals 1, 2 and 3 are vertical or dumping chutes or tanks, the respective halves of the chute 1 being shown diagrammatically at each end, although these will be arranged in triangular or rectangular form as may be found convenient in practice. 1*, 2 and 3 are screw or spiral conveyors, mounted in the inclined chutes on the shafts l, and 3f. These shafts are rotated through large .punon gears l, 2 and 3 driven by small pin- -ions 1, 2 and 3", which'are' in turn rotated through horizontal shaft4,large pulley 5 bolted to small pulley 6, driven by the motor 7 N uuicral 8 refers to a reconditioning solution hopper or tank which will ordiuarily hold salt and water, this being conllccicd by pipet) into the inclined chute 1. A pipe 10 is connected to vertical, chute 1 for the purpose of withdrawingand disposmg of the reconditioning solution. Numeral 12 is a water supply pipe leading into the top of the reconditioning tank or hopper 8 and His a covered opening to admit supplies of salts to make up the solution. N ulncrals 1, 2 and 3 are water-tight stufiing boxes on the lower end of the inclined chutes, while 1 2 and 3" are pedestal bases and step bearings for the lower ends of the conveyor shafts. Numeral 13 refers to a receptacle for governing the admission of wash water through pipe 14 into inclined chute N o. 2, while 15 is a supply pipe for wash water and 16 is a float valve for ordinarily holding a constant level of water. Numeral 18 is likewise and in the same manner a receptacle for govcrning the flow of raw water to be softened, connectinginto inclined chute 3 by the-pipe 19 and is supplied by pipe 20; the float valve 21. ordinarily governs the level of the water therein. N umcral 17 is a drain pipe for wash water from vertical chute 2 and nuiueral 23 is a discharge line from vertical chute 3 to carry away the softened Water. Numeral 24 refers to the approximatelevel of the mineral carried in each of the vertical chutes, that of 1" being indicated by an irregular dotted line. The straight horizontal dotted lines 25, 26 and 27 respectivel refer to-thc level of the liquids to be carried in the vertical and inclined chutes.
jlu operation the screw'conveyors 1", 2* and 3" are in constant and slow rotation, thereby tending to elevate and dischar in priorapparatus such stratification often mineral at the tops of all the inclined chutes, dumping it into the Vertical chutes, these con- 'veyols to be made exactly the same size and the same pitch, thereby resulting in a constant, continuous and uniform flow of the entire charge of mineral throughout the series 'of chutes, The reconditioning solution is continuously, flowing from container 8 through pipe 9 into inclined chute No. 1, and works its way downward through and in intimate Contact with the mineral while the latter is in chute 1, past the screw conveyorwhich also acts as a set of baflies in this instancethenee upward through the mineral that is continuously being dumped into the vertical chute 1 by the conveyor in the inclined chute 3. The solution. overflows at some level denoted by numeral 25 into pipe 10 by which it may be disposed of conveniently. The wash water for removing any excess of 1 salt or weak reconditioning solution that may ,its overflow level 26 into drain pipe 17, which may be connected into a sewer or other convenient means of disposal, the mineral thereb being thoroughly washed of any undesiralile content of reconditioning substance before it is dumped into the next phase. The next phase, or the raw water softening process, is carried out in a similar manner to that of the washing, with the exception that a much greater quantity of water is flowing at all times. The raw water enters the inclined chute 3 at a level 27 from regulating tank 18 through pipe 19, and may be regulated ordinarily by the float valve 21 or by hand if the flow must be diminished. The mineral is carried upward again in the inclined chute 3 and dumps continuously into the vertical chute 1, therebycompleting the cycle and being in position to repeat the cycle of reconditioning, washing and softening continuously and uniformly.
The simplicity of construction and the efliciency of the process and apparatus described are im ortant features of the invention. In the embodiment shown and described herein, provision is made for positive mechanical agitation and circulation of the entire charge 9f .mineral uniformly through the apparatus, thereby attaining uniform results and utilizing the mineral effectively. There is no opportunity for packing or stratification of the mineral and the bodies of raw water and conditioning fluids are kept separate so that mixing of the fluids'is prevented, whereas occurred and mixing of the fluids was necessary to accomplish the desired circulation of the mineral.
The foregoing is a description of the apparatus found so far most convenient for carrying out the processes described, but it is apparent that for large capacities and for certain practical and commercial pur oses, the apparatus may be varied considera ly in detail so as to produce possibly a more economical and compact arrangement than that shown in either of the two figures. It may, on the other hand, be necessary to add, for instance, an additional set of chutes for carrying out the softeningphase or it may be desirable to change the form of the dumping chutes or to incline them somewhat. It may also be possible to dispense with the washing phase or carry it out in a manner so as to eliminate a separate set of chutes and conveyors as illustrated and described. It is also apparent that the direction of flow of the fluids for recouc'litioning, washing or softening may be reversed or operated counter to that described and shown. It is obvious also that some other means of controlling the flow of the fluids and means for regulating the flow of the mineral may be incorporated, and it is also obvious that another means of conveying the mineral may be found feasible and more convenient. It is therefore obvious that the apparatus for carrying out these processes as shown and described are merely of preferred form and construction to illustrate a way in which this invention may be practiced, but the inventive thought upon which this invention is based is broader than the illustrated embodiment thereof and no limitations are intended or therefore should be imposed, and the following claims cover more specifically and broadly what this invention in its entirety constitutes.
1. In a cyclic process for softening water by the base exchange method to include reconditioning the base exchange mineral for reuse,
comprising continuous mechanical agitation and circulation of the entire charge of base exchange mineral uniformly through .the 1 phases of the process, flowing raw water through the mlneral 1n one phase and reconditioning the exhausted mineral in another phase.
2. In a cyclic process for softening water by the base exchange method to include recondltlomng the base exchange mineral for re-use, comprising contmuous mechanical circulation of the entire charge of base exchange mineral uniformly through the phases of the process, flowing raw water through the mineral in onephase and reconditioning the exhausted mineral in another phase.
3. In. apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method, an endless conduit constructedof serially related sections of substantially uniform cross-section, means for moving the entire charge of base exchange mineral in a stream through said conduit and means to supply raw water to be softened to the stream in one section of the conduit and reconditioning fluid to the stream in another section.
4. In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method, an endless conduit constructed of serially related sections, screwconveyor means in each section for moving the base exchange mineral in tr stream through said conduit, means for actuating the screwconveyor means and means for supplying raw water to be softened to one section and reconditioning fluid to another section.
5. In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method, serially related screw conveyors for moving thecharge of base exchange mineral in a stream through the ap paratus, means for actuating the screw conveyors and means for supplying raw water to be softened to one portion of said stream and reconditioning fluid to another portion thereof.
6. In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method, serially related mechanical agitating and conveying elements for moving the charge of base exchange mineral uniformly in a stream through the apparatus and means for supplying raw water to be softened to one portion of said stream and reconditioning fluid to another portion thereof.
7; In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method, serially related mechanical agitating and conveying elements for moving the charge of base exchange mineral uniformly in a stream through the apparatus, means for flowing raw water to be softened counter-current to the stream of mineral in one of said agitating and convey ing elements and means for supplying reconditioning fluid to another portion of the stream of mineral.
8. In apparatus for softening \vatei by the base exchange method, a plurality of serially related tanks, means for flowing ra\v water to be softened into one of said tanks and reconditioning fluid for the mineral into another of said tanks and means for lifting the mineral in each tank above the liquid. level therein and transferring the same to another of said tanks to provide continuous circulation of the mineral through the apparatus, said lifting and transferring means being arranged to prevent fluid flow between the respective tanks.
9. In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method, a plurality .of serially related tanks, means'for flowing raw water to be softened into one of said tanks and reconditioning fluid for the mineral into an other of said tanks and for maintaining predetermined liquid levels therein and means for conveying the mineral in each tank above the liquid level therein and then into another of said tanks to provide a continuous circulation ofthe mineral through the apparatus without mixing of the fluids.
10. In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method comprising a plurality of conveyor elementsconnected serially 'to form an endless system, each element having inlet and discharge passages which are connected with the dischargeand inlet passages respectively of the adjacent elements, mechanical means for positively circulating a quantityof base exchange mineral from each element to the succeeding element of the system and means for feeding raw water to the mineral as it is conveyed through one element and a' reconditioning fluid to the mineral in another element.
11. In apparatus for softening water by the base exchange method comprlsing a plu- -ality of conveyor elements connected serially to form an endless closed system, each element consisting of an inclined chute with inlet and discharge passages connecting it to discharge and inlet passages respectively of the adjacent elements, a mechanical conveyor device arranged in each chute to move the mineral therein upwardly, driving connectionsby which all conveyors are operated at the same uniform speed, means for feeding raw water in regulable amounts into one chute and for withdrawing softened water therefrom and means for feeding in regulable quantity a reconditioning fluid to the mineral in another chute, the relative arrangement of chutes being such that the fluids in the system are maintained in separated 'zones.
12. In apparatus for softening water by the base-exchange method, mechanical means for continuously agitating and circulating base. exchan e mineral throu h the a aratus while maintaining the mineral in definitely separated portions, means for contacting raw water with one portion of the mineral, means for supplying reconditioning fluid to another portion of the mineral and means for pre venting fluid flow between the bodies of raw water and reconditioning fluid in the apparatus.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 7th day of December, 1926.
H. MITCHELL GODSE Y.-